News Releases

UWI selected for international sustainability education pilot programme

For Release Upon Receipt - November 7, 2023


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Friday, November 3, 2023—The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is among six universities selected for the pilot run of an international programme to embed sustainability across teaching and learning in higher education institutions. The initiative, ‘Responsible Futures’, is led by the International Association of Universities (IAU) in partnership with Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), which has been working with higher education institutions in the UK for almost ten years. 

Responsible Futures is a change programme and accreditation mark that works to put sustainability at the heart of student learning by creating an institutional approach across both curricular and non-curricular activities throughout the entire institution. Over the past decade, the programme has positively impacted over 600,000 students, in the UK. As a member of the IAU, The UWI was invited to participate based on its expertise and focus on sustainable development in the Caribbean region and its leadership in the Global University Consortium on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action). 

Director of Education at Students Organising for Sustainability, Quinn Runkle remarked, "We’re delighted to be working with The University of the West Indies to pilot the Responsible Futures international programme, partnering students and staff to work together to embed sustainability in student learning. The UWI has been selected to take a lead role in representing the Caribbean region in this ground-breaking initiative and we look forward to progressing this important work with the university and their students.” 

Commenting on The UWI’s involvement, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs, Ms. Sandrea Maynard, whose office is the institutional lead for the Global University Consortium on SDG 13, noted that at The UWI, Responsible Futures will be student-led through the UWI STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) Ambassadorial Corps. The Corps is a leading regional student group with a reputation for climate action and advocacy. UWI STAT students will incorporate activities and initiatives integrating students across the University’s eight faculties and five campuses. 

Founder and Regional Coordinator of the Corps, Mrs. Celia Davidson Francis, will oversee the process of working together with The UWI’s Sustainability Network, as well as with its administrative, student and academic frameworks. Mrs. Davidson Francis has emphasized that it is vital that “the next generation of leaders: our students, are involved leaders and participants in this programme because they will be living ‘the futures’ decided by behaviours practiced, as well as actions taken today.” 

PVC Maynard also underscored that this latest initiative deepens the regional university’s collaboration with the IAU and further affirms The UWI’s efforts as an SDG-engaged University. She anticipates that the programme will complement the university’s research agenda on climate change and sustainable development and equip future Caribbean leaders and technical managers. 

The UWI’s Office for Global Affairs also works closely with the IAU, and will be responsible for monitoring and reporting on this initiative.


About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. 

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